BOISE -- Samia McCall is getting back into half-marathon shape after six years spent as a busy mom.

This is Sawyer, she explains, hefting a curly-headed toddler onto her lap. He's two-and-a-half.

She continues, now pointing at a smiling little girl dressed in a pink tutu. This is Mesa, she's four-and-a-half, and my oldest - Connor - is six-and-a-half, and he's at school.

Samia and her children are sitting in the bright living room of her North End Boise home. Colorful toys dot the carpet. Halfway through our interview she stops to change a diaper.

Yeah, I've been running for a while, McCall says. Before I had kids, I ran marathons and half marathons, and I've struggled with injuries, and since having kids, it's obviously been harder.


Samia wants Saturday's 13.1 mile Race to Robie Creek to mark her comeback to the world of distance running.

She discovered a local women's running group called the Boise Betties on Facebook. The amateur running team helped her find her stride.

Having the encouragement of other women who like to run and the support of a knowledgeable coach has really been invaluable in helping me get back on track, McCall said.

Samia started training for the Race to Robie Creek in January, and began running with the Boise Betties in February. Balancing family life and healing from a hip injury made it tough. She ran about 20 miles a week to get ready for the upcoming half marathon.

Rich Harris is a former pro runner who co-owns Bandanna Running in downtown Boise.

He says the Race to Robie Creek attracts a lot of athletes who want to get back into shape like Samia.

If you're successfully going to do Robie, and feel good about how you did in it, you've got start training in January, maybe sooner, Harris said. It's a long race.


Harris says another key factor is simply making time to train. He suggests finding time during the morning, before work or school, and not leaving running for the end of the day.

The biggest thing you're going to do is figure out when you're going to do it, Harris said. It's find the time.

As for Samia, she says a positive attitude is necessary for successful training too.

Her best advice for runners getting back into the game: Keep showing up, and accept the body that you have on the day that you have, and be grateful, and have fun.

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